So, I was reading a book the other day and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, it seemed like every other conversation later in the day reminded me of something I’d read. It was all I could do not to shout from the rooftops that everyone else should read it! I’m even considering getting a copy for someone on my Christmas list.

Without even knowing the title, author, or what it’s about, do you want to find out more? That’s the power of word-of-mouth, the most powerful marketing method in existence.

When I’m looking for a good recommendation, where do I go? First off, I spend time with my reading friends and ask what they’re reading … and whether it’s worth investing my time or not. A glance at their bookshelves (virtual or otherwise) would reveal the authors they like the most in the genres they prefer. If we think alike, I can spot new books I might enjoy.

Second, I’ve discovered the power of Goodreads. After creating a free account, I started marking books that I have read, am reading, or would like to read and could easily rate how much I enjoyed each book. Then, after a bit, Goodreads started recommending books based on those already on my shelves. And not surprisingly, many of those recommendations were already books I knew about. That raised the “trust factor” when I get a recommendation for an author I know nothing about because Goodreads is powered by book lovers and isn’t out to sell me something.

On the topic of selling, however, a good retailer knows how to fine tune recommendations for the customer. Have you noticed on Amazon how they will let you know that other people who looked at or bought the same book also looked at or bought such-and-such? Amazon also makes recommendations based on my order history (which gets skewed when I’m buying something for someone else with different interests than mine!)

Other good resources for recommendations are local librarians and/or the seasonal or topical displays they assemble in visible places. American Christian Fiction Writers hosts the Fiction Finder website to help readers of Christian fiction discover authors similar to their favorites. (See www.fictionfinder.com.) If you still ideas about what book to read next? Well, your too-be-read pile must be much shorter than mine.

And remember that book I’m currently reading? It’s called Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman and is one of the most challenging books I’ve read in a long time when it comes to truly following Christ instead of being on the fan-wagon.

What about you? Have you read any good books lately? Could you stop yourself from talking about something you’d read?

Me And My Big Mouth
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